Jeremiah 35

Listen to Jeremiah 35

The Obedience of the Rechabites

1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD in the days of 1Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah:
2 "Go to the house of the 2Rechabites and speak with them and bring them to the house of the LORD, into one of 3the chambers; then offer them wine to drink."
3 So I took Jaazaniah the son of Jeremiah, son of Habazziniah and his brothers and all his sons and the whole house of the Rechabites.
4 I brought them to the house of the LORD into 4the chamber of the sons of Hanan the son of Igdaliah, 5the man of God, which was near 6the chamber of the officials, above 7the chamber of 8Maaseiah the son of Shallum, 9keeper of the threshold.
5 Then I set before the Rechabites pitchers full of wine, and cups, and I said to them, "Drink wine."
6 But they answered, "We will drink no wine, for 10Jonadab the son of Rechab, our father, commanded us, 'You shall not drink wine, neither you nor your sons forever.
7 You shall not build a house; you shall not sow seed; you shall not plant or have a vineyard; but you shall live in tents all your days, 11that you may live many days in the land where you sojourn.'
8 We have obeyed the voice of Jonadab the son of Rechab, our father, in all that he commanded us, to drink no wine all our days, ourselves, our wives, our sons, or our daughters,
9 and not to build houses to dwell in. We have no vineyard or field or seed,
10 but we have lived in tents and have obeyed and done all that Jonadab our father commanded us.
11 But 12when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up against the land, we said, 'Come, and let us go to Jerusalem for fear of 13the army of the Chaldeans and 14the army of the Syrians.'15So we are living in Jerusalem."
12 Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah:
13 "Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Go and say to the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, 16Will you not receive instruction and listen to my words? declares the LORD.
14 The command that Jonadab the son of Rechab gave to his sons, to drink no wine, has been kept, and they drink none to this day, for they have obeyed their father's command. I have spoken to you 17persistently, but you have not listened to me.
15 I have sent to you all my servants the prophets, sending them 18persistently, saying, 19'Turn now every one of you from his evil way, and amend your deeds, and 20do not go after other gods to serve them, and then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to you and your fathers.'21But you did not incline your ear or listen to me.
16 The sons of Jonadab the son of Rechab have kept the command that their father gave them, but this people has not obeyed me.
17 Therefore, thus says the LORD, the God of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I am bringing upon Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem all the disaster that I have pronounced against them, 22because I have spoken to them and they have not listened, 23I have called to them and they have not answered."
18 But to the house of the Rechabites Jeremiah said, "Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Because you have obeyed the command of Jonadab your father and kept all his precepts and done all that he commanded you,
19 therefore thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Jonadab the son of Rechab shall never lack a man 24to stand before me."

Jeremiah 35 Commentary

Chapter 35

The obedience of the Rechabites. (1-11) The Jews' disobedience to the Lord. (12-19)

Verses 1-11 Jonadab was famous for wisdom and piety. He lived nearly ( 2 Kings. 10:15 ) to drink wine. He also appointed them to dwell in tents, or movable dwelling: this would teach them not to think of settling any where in this world. To keep low, would be the way to continue long in the land where they were strangers. Humility and contentment are always the best policy, and men's surest protection. Also, that they might not run into unlawful pleasures, they were to deny themselves even lawful delights. The consideration that we are strangers and pilgrims should oblige us to abstain from all fleshly lusts. Let them have little to lose, and then losing times would be the less dreadful: let them sit loose to what they had, and then they might with less pain be stript of it. Those are in the best frame to meet sufferings who live a life of self-denial, and who despise the vanities of the world. Jonadab's posterity observed these rules strictly, only using proper means for their safety in a time of general suffering.

Verses 12-19 The trial of the Rechabites' constancy was for a sign; it made the disobedience of the Jews to God the more marked. The Rechabites were obedient to one who was but a man like themselves, and Jonadab never did for his seed what God has done for his people. Mercy is promised to the Rechabites. We are not told respecting the performance of this promise; but doubtless it was performed, and travellers say the Rechabites may be found a separate people to this day. Let us follow the counsels of our pious forefathers, and we shall find good in so doing.

Cross References 24

  • 1. Jeremiah 25:1
  • 2. 1 Chronicles 2:55
  • 3. 1 Kings 6:5, 6; 1 Chronicles 9:26, 33
  • 4. [See ver. 2 above]
  • 5. [Deuteronomy 33:1]
  • 6. [See ver. 2 above]
  • 7. [See ver. 2 above]
  • 8. Jeremiah 21:1; Jeremiah 29:25; Jeremiah 37:3
  • 9. 2 Kings 12:9; 2 Kings 25:18
  • 10. 2 Kings 10:15, 23
  • 11. [Exodus 20:12; Ephesians 6:2, 3]
  • 12. Jeremiah 46:2; 2 Kings 24:1; [ver. 1]
  • 13. 2 Kings 24:2
  • 14. 2 Kings 24:2
  • 15. [ver. 7]
  • 16. See Jeremiah 5:3
  • 17. See Jeremiah 25:3
  • 18. [See ver. 14 above]
  • 19. 2 Kings 17:13; See Jeremiah 18:11
  • 20. See Jeremiah 7:6
  • 21. See Jeremiah 34:14
  • 22. [Isaiah 50:2]
  • 23. [Isaiah 50:2]
  • 24. See Jeremiah 15:1

Chapter Summary


In this chapter the disobedience of the people of the Jews unto God is aggravated by the obedience of the Rechabites to their father; and the one are threatened with the judgments of God upon them, and the other have a promise of the divine blessing. The time of this prophecy is observed; Jer 35:1; an order to bring the Rechabites into one of the chambers of the temple, which was done accordingly, Jer 35:2-4; wine is set before them to drink; which they refuse; alleging the command of their father to the contrary, Jer 35:5-7; which they had carefully and constantly obeyed in every part of it, excepting that which respects their dwelling in tents; for which they give a reason, Jer 35:8-11; by this instance of filial obedience to parents, the disobedience of the Jews towards their Father, which is in heaven, is aggravated; who, though he gave them laws and commandments, and sent his prophets to put them in mind of them, and exhort them to obedience, yet hearkened not to them, Jer 35:12-15; wherefore the Lord threatens to bring all the evil on them he had pronounced, Jer 35:16,17; and promises the sons of Rechab that there should be always some of them that should minister unto him, Jer 35:18,19.

Jeremiah 35 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.